Velogal's Blog

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Earlier this morning, I was reading an excerpt from “Inside the Postal Bus” by Michael Barry. I have the book, (freebie - thank you VN) but found myself reading the excerpt in April 25th issue of VeloNews. Michael is so thoughtful, articulate and a darn good writer. He was setting the scene about an early morning awakening by the UCI vampires to do testing, right before the start of L-B-L. He and Chechu were awakened in the dark by the UCI loudly banging on their door.

I was imagining the rider’s mental preparation the night before, the butterflies in the stomach, the difficulty getting to sleep with nervous jitters, and then to be startled awake out of a deep sleep like that. Adding insult to injury, Michael says that 30 or so of them had to wait out in the hall - right in public - for the testing... Sleepy, tired, hungry, gotta pee - too bad - the UCI calls the shots.

You probably already know that every rider in the peloton has to let the UCI know where they are at all times, for out of competition testing. Michael says that they all leave their cell phones on all the time so they don’t miss any call commanding them to be available to be tested. The UCI reps show up anywhere, anytime. Wasn’t it Lance who had the vampires show up at this home when he was getting ready to head for the hospital for the birth of one of his kids, or some significant event like that?

Michael makes some good comments about the UCI’s attention to their health and safety, but that it ends before the guys get on the road. He makes some very thoughtful comments about the lack of attention to some very dangerous roads they have to ride during the races. Michael also describes his horrible crash during the 2002 Vuelta - it is amazing that he survived the crash, and then being run over by a motorcycle, which ended up on his chest. Cycling is NOT a sissy sport, like some dumb sportswriters try to say....

Heads up - Velogal’s Wachovia Journal is now up on (red icon on lower left side) and is supposed to go up on soon. Dave Towle has a column there, too, so cyber on over. I think it will be a weekly thing....


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